Author Topic: Syriac Orthodox liturgical questions  (Read 2484 times)

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Offline Addai

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Syriac Orthodox liturgical questions
« on: April 06, 2006, 11:44:40 AM »
I got some questions for my Syriac friends.   I've been a big student of oriental and early liturgies.   I wanted to fact check a few ideas and assumptions.


1) would you describe your "kiss of peace".   I assumed that it was like the Coptic, or the one of the Assyrian Church of the East, where it is a kind of hand clasp, kind of gesture.   As opposed to a shoulder kiss (Armenian), or a cheek kiss, (EO).


2) Do you have a water blessing where the priest tosses and/or dabs water on the congregants, as he blesses them in the names of various saints?  In the Coptic church the priest does that with the water that is used to clean the sacred vessles, after he cleans the eucharistic utensils at the end of the service.


My understanding is that these things come from a Syriac influence, or are present in one of the early liturgies like St. Basil that was used by some of the early Oriental Churches.


and may add even a third one.


3) do make use of a curtain?   as either a part of the iconostatis, or in the area where the iconostatis would be?   As do the Armenians, and some Coptic churches have a curtain that is part of the iconostasis.


I may have additional questions as I think of them...   :)

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Syriac Orthodox liturgical questions
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2006, 08:56:43 PM »
I got some questions for my Syriac friends.   I've been a big student of oriental and early liturgies.   I wanted to fact check a few ideas and assumptions.


1) would you describe your "kiss of peace".   I assumed that it was like the Coptic, or the one of the Assyrian Church of the East, where it is a kind of hand clasp, kind of gesture.   As opposed to a shoulder kiss (Armenian), or a cheek kiss, (EO).

In my experience, it is almost identical to what Copts do.


Quote
2) Do you have a water blessing where the priest tosses and/or dabs water on the congregants, as he blesses them in the names of various saints?  In the Coptic church the priest does that with the water that is used to clean the sacred vessles, after he cleans the eucharistic utensils at the end of the service.


My understanding is that these things come from a Syriac influence, or are present in one of the early liturgies like St. Basil that was used by some of the early Oriental Churches.

We don't have a water blessing like the Copts do.  Actually, I am surprised to learn that it is the water used to clean the sacred vessels, as that is usually drunk by the priest or deacon in almost all traditions I am aware; this is the case out of respect for the Eucharist.  Unless the water is water poured into the vessels after they have been thoroughly cleaned (and the "cleaning water" has been drunk by the priest), I think I would have issues with this.  Help me understand what your practice is.  

The only time we bless water (that I personally know of) is Theophany (when we drink it), Pentecost (when it is sprinkled), and house blessings (sprinkled).  

Quote
3) do make use of a curtain?   as either a part of the iconostatis, or in the area where the iconostatis would be?   As do the Armenians, and some Coptic churches have a curtain that is part of the iconostasis.

We use curtains, and have no iconostasis.  
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Offline Salpy

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Re: Syriac Orthodox liturgical questions
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2006, 09:41:09 PM »
What do Syrian Churches have on their east wall, behind their altars?  The subject of east wall iconography is being discussed generally in another forum, but I am wondering about the Syrian Church.  I have only been to one Syrian Church, and that was a while ago.  I seem to remember they had a cross behind the altar.  Is that typical?

Offline Addai

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Re: Syriac Orthodox liturgical questions
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2006, 01:35:42 AM »
In my experience, it is almost identical to what Copts do.


We don't have a water blessing like the Copts do.  Actually, I am surprised to learn that it is the water used to clean the sacred vessels, as that is usually drunk by the priest or deacon in almost all traditions I am aware; this is the case out of respect for the Eucharist.  Unless the water is water poured into the vessels after they have been thoroughly cleaned (and the "cleaning water" has been drunk by the priest)

Well I might have to read more.   But It seem like it is the leftover consecrated water.   The water is drank by the priest, when he cleans the vessles, but there's usually half a jug of it left, and that leftover is used to bless the people.   That seems to be what happens watching from afar, sunday, after sunday.

Offline Addai

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Re: Syriac Orthodox liturgical questions
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2006, 01:40:11 AM »
Also what about musical instruments. ÂÂ I thought I read you used cymbals like the Copts, and also sometimes used the harp (like from listening to some Syriac MP3s online)? ÂÂ  Do you have anything exotic like the Armenian "Kashotz"?
« Last Edit: April 07, 2006, 01:48:21 AM by Addai »

Offline EkhristosAnesti

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Re: Syriac Orthodox liturgical questions
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2006, 05:31:36 AM »
Quote
like from listening to some Syriac MP3s online

Do you have a link?
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Offline Addai

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Re: Syriac Orthodox liturgical questions
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2006, 01:19:26 PM »
Do you have a link?

sure, last august I featured Oriental Orthodox music on my blog and used these links.

Syriac Orthodox Chant

http://www.syrianorthodoxchurch.com/Frkamil.html

http://www.syriacmusic.com/


Ethiopian
http://www.dskmariam.org/multimedia/churchsongs/index.asp


Coptic (music links already on Blog since I am Coptic).


Armenian Chant
http://www.liturgica.com/htmlsite/results_cat_20.html




Offline surajiype

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Re: Syriac Orthodox liturgical questions
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2006, 05:06:54 AM »
Salpy,

Well the Thronose has a large wooden or silver cross kept on the topmost step.  Normally atleast in the churches in kerala , the east wall is bare, nowadays murals and icons( western type) are coming up. What I understand is that in the Syrian tradition, the sanctuary was always kept bare.

Actually, in the Old churches, the Throne was covered by what is called a Dushk'dshin. This encloses the altar, from the back, the sides being open. The Throne remains freestanding within the enclosure.  Only the ordained are supposed to enter inside it. Acolytes were to remain outside.  On the east wall of this Dushk'dshin, generally pictures of the Risen Lord were painted.  I have never seen the Theotokos, or any other image on this wall.

suraj iype

Offline StBrigid

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Re: Syriac Orthodox liturgical questions
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2006, 05:12:52 PM »
Well I might have to read more. ÂÂ  But It seem like it is the leftover consecrated water. ÂÂ  The water is drank by the priest, when he cleans the vessles, but there's usually half a jug of it left, and that leftover is used to bless the people. ÂÂ  That seems to be what happens watching from afar, sunday, after sunday.
In other words, there is a pitcher of consecrated water at the altar out of which the deacon pours water onto the priest's hands, into the vessels, etc. for washing after the Eucharist.  The priest drinks that water after washing the vessels.  With the consecrated water that was left over in the pitcher, he blesses the congregation.

So it's not the water that was used to wash the vessels which is "showered" over us.  :)

Offline Addai

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Re: Syriac Orthodox liturgical questions
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2006, 07:20:11 PM »
In other words, there is a pitcher of consecrated water at the altar out of which the deacon pours water onto the priest's hands, into the vessels, etc. for washing after the Eucharist.  The priest drinks that water after washing the vessels.  With the consecrated water that was left over in the pitcher, he blesses the congregation.

So it's not the water that was used to wash the vessels which is "showered" over us.  :)

Well I can now answer this based on what I've seen first hand.   (I just got consecrated a cantor a little over a week ago).   There are actually two small decorative glass pitches of water.   Abouna uses 1 to clean the vessles, and used part of the other to finish the job.   The remaining water he does the holy water dabbing on the deacons, and splashing on the congregation.   There is still a little water water left over after the water flinging... Which he probably drinks afterwards.